© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Among the several items discussed at this weeks session of town council was passing a motion to make changes to the intersection at Victoria and Church Street.
AMHERST – Drivers and pedestrians using the intersection at the Church and Victoria Street intersection can breath a sigh of relief.
“I think that we’ll see the completion of the work at the intersection within the next three months,” said Mayor Robert Small. “This problem has been going on for years. People have been complaining about it and it’s been a bit of a traffic hazard.”
The biggest change will be no turning right onto Church Street on a red light for traffic heading eastbound on Victoria Street.
The biggest concern among pedestrians has been using the crosswalk from Tim Hortons to where Pugsley’s Pharmacy used to be.
“The whole idea is to the pedestrian some advanced time before the vehicle movement. It’ called an advanced light for the pedestrian,” said Small.
The biggest concerns for drivers is determining the right-of-way between eastbound cars on Victoria Street turning right at the red light, while westbound cars on Victoria Street have a green light to turn left onto Church Street.
Small says the changes won’t solve all the problems.
“As the police chief (Ian Naylor) said, its not supposed to be a silver bullet to solve all the problems but it’s a way of enhancing the current system so the pedestrian is being considered more than it is now,” said Small. “Council’s been talking about this for a decade and it’s one of those things where we’re trying to get things improved from where it is today.”
People will have time to adjust to the new system upon its implementation.
“We’re going to have some public education and have some advertising because that right on the red light is going to be an adjustment for people,” said Small. “So there will be a bit of time to give people the benefit of the doubt, and the police are going to try to inform the citizens of this change.”
A motion to do the work was passed unanimously at Monday’s town council meeting.
The council agenda said as follows: “The eastbound traffic in the right hand turn lane have no indicator of when the (westbound) left hand turn phase is activated. This can result in a eastbound vehicle turning right onto Church Street when the westbound vehicle has the right-of-way, increasing the risk of collision.”
– Other items on the agenda dealt with during council include:
- New Street Clock
Council also discussed what direction they would take with regards to the purchase of a new town clock.
The desired outcome of the new clock is for an aesthetic improvement of the downtown core.
Their agenda included photo’s of eight old fashion street clocks to choose from and they took an informal vote on which one they preferred, second they took an informal vote on whether the clock should have chimes and said it should not have chimes, and finally they talked about where the clock would be installed.
The two main areas debated were at the intersection of Church and Albion Streets on Victoria Street near Town Hall.
The total budget for the clock is $28,000 with 3,000 reserved for installation. Three companies bid for the job and eight designs were submitted.
The clock will be discussed further at the next council meeting.
- Amherst Youth Town Council
Council talked about bringing forward a proposed change to the Amherst Youth Town Council Policy would allow up to two students from the county to participate in Amherst Youth Town Council, which has 12 councilors.
The students would have to attend either E.B. Chandler or Amherst Regional High School.
Youth from the county have applied in the past for county but were rejected because of their place of residence.
It is council’s responsibility to appoint youth councilors. Several stakeholders, including police services and a member of town council, vet the applications. Recommendations are made to council and they make the appointment.
The issue will be debated more at the next council meeting.
- Space not currently available at Town Hall
The Tantramar Seniors College and the Amherst & Area Chamber of Commerce both sent a letter of request to the Town of Amherst asking if they have space in Town Hall to offer instruction and hold meetings.
Council discussed the issue and said there is currently no extra space for any groups.
They said there are many requests for space but, currently, no extra space is available.
“As things stand today, we don’t have space,” said Mayor Robert Small. “Tomorrow we may have space but today we don’t.”
- Funding requests granted
Council passed several motions for funding requests including $250 for the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner, $225 for the Nova Scotia Community College to host the Skate for Prostate, which is Nov. 30 during the Ramblers game at Amherst Stadium.
Other requests discussed will be brought up at the next meeting of council. They include a $1,000 request for Cat Rescue Maritimes, Amherst Chapter, and a $1,000 request to help people afflicted by the typhoon in the Philippines.